Due to the pressures of life and work, almost all of us have experienced periods of anxiety. Some people only have mild symptoms which last only for a few days, whilst others may have a more serious level of anxiety which could be classed as a disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness. However, when people seek help, acupuncture is usually not their first choice. A lack of understanding about acupuncture and difficulty finding the right acupuncturist may put people off this valuable treatment.
Acupuncture is an ancient technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Nowadays, it is used to treat a wide range of patients with a variety of conditions in the UK.
How does acupuncture work?
In general, acupuncture manipulates Qi flow in meridians. Qi is the body's vital energy.
Meridians are "highways" where Qi flows. By inserting needles at certain acu-points, it stimulates Qi flow in meridians. It unblocks stagnations to achieve free flowing Qi within meridians.
The Qi free flow is fundamental for a healthy condition.
How diagnosis differs from TCM and Western Medicine
In Western medicine, anxiety is diagnosed as a rather general disorder. Everybody might be given the same medication and treatment plan.
In Chinese medicine, each patient is treated in their individual way as everyone is believed to have different characteristics.
This method is called differentiation, and it helps to diagnose which meridians are affected and where the needles should be inserted for each individual.
The body working in harmony
In addition, by using yin-yang and the five elements theory, TCM explains how organs connect and interact with each other in the human body.
Acupuncture is the technique used to rebalance the organs which are affected by disease so that these organs can work together in harmony.
In most cases of anxiety; the kidney, heart, liver, spleen and lung meridians can be affected. Either excessive heat or stagnation can be found in these meridians during diagnosis. Herbs are often used alongside acupuncture to enhance the treatment.
"Stress is usually a precursor to anxiety, and anxiety is usually a precursor to depression" Mindset Habits, 2011.